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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:19PM WyattEarp89 said

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Good article. And I agree that it is nice that Guild Wars 2, also GW1, is buy to play. It does make it easier to play it along with a subscription game. I will be paying two subs when Guild Wars 2 comes out, TOR and Fallen Earth, along with playing Lotro so the buy to play model is awesome.

Also, even though Guild Wars 2 will have a cash shop I highly doubt that it will be intrusive and OP for people with a lot of money, unlike a free to play game where the only way to make money is their cash shop. Guild Wars has the advantage of making money off of box sales and digital sales.

Off topic: I am in your Massively guild in GW1 and I want to apologize for not taking part in the events and teaming you all have been doing. I hope to be more active soon, just too much going on right now.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:21PM SFGamer69 said

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Very , very good point, that of time as a resource that these game companies are vying for. I find myself very much wanting to play several games, but realize.."where would I possibly find the time to do so?" Even though GW2 has no sub fee, there is the matter of allocating time to playing it (and SWtoR will likely win out more oft than not). The idea that you can put one or the other down for a bit and return to it later though, does not really occur to me, because what you do lose is the time you would have spent progressing...which means you are playing catch up in one game or the other whenever you put it down for too long..and the further behind you become in one, the less likely you are to come back to it and stay for any meaningful amount of time. the fact that my kids will be playing GW2 (because it wont cost me a monthly sub x3) means I will be in it more often than I would if they were not, but eventually I'll be too far behind them to be of much help. Can't we just get an increase in the hours per day....hahaha!

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:37PM Razomir said

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Well I would tend to disagree with ArcherAvatar. While gaming has evolved (especially in the MMO ganre) far beyond just something to do in your spare time it still essentially serves the purpose of being an enjoyable activity. Pressure does not equal pleasure so feeling even in the slightest pressured to play drastically reduces the anjoyment factor. Now, if the game itself is good enough to be worthed this pressure can be overcome, but every time it depletes the player's patience a bit.

The GW/GW2 model is very much appreciated by the community for the most part (at least according to my experience).

I think gaming in the MMO ganre has evolved into a radical form of rebellion as ArcherAvatar stated "absurd assumption that at least a portion of that period be spent earning a living, taking care of loved ones, sleeping or resting, and any number of other mundane idiotic necessities that obstruct access to time spent on the most important activity in life: online gaming. " so many people give more importance to gaming because it frees them from these trivial mundane factors in real life. We rebel against reality and emerse ourselves in this rich environment that we ultimately feel a part of. But we do so on our own accord (thus the rebellion part) and when that environment starts feeling like a duty (forced play due to monthly fees) we often begin seeking an alternative way to rebel to another play(game) where we feel we do what we do as we like to do it.

This is my (very longwinded) way of seeing gaming on such a massive scale as an MMO. Gaming is a form of freedom and the more elaborate it is the better we feel and the more we can connect with it. Feeling forced to play takes away from this and in time in time creates a sense of dissatisfaction.

An appreciative gamer is a long-term paying gamer (think microtransactions).While an "employed" gamer is a short-term customer. And freedom of playing what we like when we like it is something we can all appreciate.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:12PM Irem said

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@Razomir
Eh, I think it's simpler than that. I used to have masses of time to play MMOs, and I don't any more. Now, when I look at a game, I'm thinking whether or not I have time to fully enjoy it. Is it going to require a huge time investment from me to see the whole thing? Am I going to have to spend months playing catch up? It's the same thing when I'm choosing between two games. Can I fully enjoy them both, or if I don't pick just one will I only have enough time to dip my toes in either of them? I may be able to afford both a subscription fee and a B2P or F2P game, but if I'm getting maximum enjoyment out of the free game and I don't have time to fully experience them both, what's my motivation to pay for the sub fee? I may already own the free game, but if the sub-based game is the one I'm really happy with, I might let the free game fall by the wayside and never buy anything for it or pick up the expansions.

That may not be a problem for people who tend to be MMO tourists, but while I go vacationing from time to time I like to have one game that I come back home to. So when I'm deciding whether to pick up, drop, or keep any particular time/energy/financial investment in a given game, I'm deciding which one is "home."
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:17PM SFGamer69 said

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@Razomir

You definitely hit upon something that has affected a many gamers, and that is the dissatisfaction that occurs when gaming becomes more akin to working, than the recreational outlet it started as.

I think that this is an area where developers have created this ugly problem with the way they have created their endgame. That all to familiar grind for "gear/marks/badges, ", that when not done regularly, you quickly fall behind, to a point where a gamer who does make the attempt, often does so unhappily.

That is the point in which the game becomes "work", and the point at which the devs have turned a satisfied "appreciative" player into an disgruntled "employed" gamer.

I think it leads back to my point of, eventually, you have to make a choice as to which game you will play, and likely it will be the one that brings with it the most real enjoyment. We can all do things to increase our income, if we really want to pay to play, but the resource of time is finite... even if every game was F2P, your choice is still narrowed by the amount of time you have to play them.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:55PM Razomir said

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@SFGamer69

Well naturally time is a main factor. My point was that whatever time I can allot to gaming, if it is forcibly directed at the game I pay for regularly makes it less attractive. It kinda weighs more heavily in the "employed" gamer category because if you go after a title/achievement/badge and give up half way you don't lose anything. While spending money added to the grief of achievinmg the goals of grinding is a bit too much for a lot of ppl.

But that leads to a whole new argument of the target audience of the game. Is it the willing-to-grind people which require huge amounts of concept and improvements or the causal gamer. What is attractive to one (having the option to grind yourself into a comma reaching various titles and such) can scare off the casual gamer who knows that in order to be even remotely "modern" in the game he has to put forth a lot of time.

In all honesty the QUALITY of the game may be the biggest factor. If it's astonishingly good people are willing to put up with a lot of inconveniences and make a lot of compromises. But my point about monthly subscriptions is that they just add to the already high strainthat the time requirement of today's highly elaborate MMO's ask for. So a F2P method will always be more enjoyable given all other things equal. :)
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:41PM j1083 said

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@Puremallace

In this case, however, GW2 fortuitously benefits by virtue of not being entirely B2P. The addition of transmutation stones and potentially other features via cash shop provides an additional, if optional stream of potential revenue.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:55PM SFGamer69 said

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@Puremallace

Considering B2P is really just another type of F2P game, only with a cost to entry being the initial box purchase, why would you equate it with a "ponzi" scheme? After the box purchase, there are cosmetic and other micro transactions as with any F2P title. And considering how well that format does for title of considerably less quality than something like GW2, I can't imagine a scenario where this will bust.

Also, GW2 will no doubt release expansions as they did with the original, at the same starting box price... and if they deliver a quality product, as they have been known to do, this would be no different.

The cost of subscription based games, averaging about 180.00 a year (per account) at the standard 15.00 monthly fee, makes investing 40.00 or so for a new expansion once or twice a year very attractive, at least for me and my family of gamers... I imagine it is just so with many others.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 1:58PM supamon said

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Between SWTOR and GW2 I would prefer to play GW2 since it is buy-to-play.
Having the freedom and flexibility to put the game down and attend to matters in your life (or just seeking a break from gaming!) whilst not having to worrying about wasting money on a subscription and returning to the game when you have time is a big factor in my decision between the two.

That and GW2's art, gameplay and lore looking amazing helps too!

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 3:15PM supamon said

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@Tempes Magus

I know what you mean. The look of Star Wars has not fundamentally changed since its first appearance over 30 years ago. At the time it was futuristic sy-fy but now it reeks of retro.

I wished they would freshen up the aesthetics and show some sort of evolution of the Star Wars universe. I mean, the jedi still wear the same robes and stormtroopers still look no different than they do supposedly thousands of years apart in canon.

Of course they can't change everything or they would lose the nostalgia associated with them and fans would start a rapture of their own. That being said I do enjoy Star Wars and don't hate it but it hasn't changed at all.

I wouldn't mind trying out SWTOR but I prefer something new,fresh and exciting. ArenaNet happens to be attempting this by creating their own lore that doesn't follow the standard LOTR/D&D mold and the art direction really sets it apart from the sea of games vying for your attention. I hope it succeeds.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 4:02PM DarkWalker said

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@supamon
SW:TOR happens roughly 3,500 years before the movies, you know (and roughly 500 years after the KotOR games). There are also literally hundreds of books, comics, and other works depicting the universe from, at least, 12K years before the movie up to a century or two after them (that I know of, at least), so the way technology looks in SW:TOR, for the whole universe timeline, is quite ingrained.
This means that, for starters, it would simply make no sense to have technology in SW:TOR look much more advanced than in the movies, given that TOR is actually before the movies. Besides, I don't really think Bioware has enough freedom to change how technology looks in the SW universe, and even Lucas Arts would need to thread carefully in this.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 4:20PM Space Cobra said

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@DarkWalker

I think there is more supamon's statement that cannot be simply answered by "it's in the books/lore".

I also am frustrated by things looking the same or very similar to the movies. While I don't think I am as frustrated as Tempes and supamon and can live with it, it does irk me.

No, in our eyes, the books do not count because Lucas is a bit of a snake-oil-salesman; and I mean that in an "alright/good" sorta way. There definitely could have been more variety/progress shown in this timeframe.

Unfortunately, what it boils down to, ladies and gents, is IP and the Intellectual Property-look. If Paramount had their way, every Earth ship from the Space Shuttle, to the Saturn 5 rocket to the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria would have two nacelles, just so we are reminded it's "Star Trek" and the same philosophy applies here. I understand it to an extent, but I feel it's lacking, especially over thousands of years of a shown history; needs more imagination.

Mind you, I like Star Wars well enough, but in my own mind, I treat this sorta as a separate parallel universe that happens to have light swords and similar trappings (Lucas riffed from others anyway). It's Sci-Fi enough that I'll like it and I don't think of it in Star War's past as much as just a setting to play in with Star Wars-like trappings.

Again, not to slam, but many of us, and certainly many players, will not be up on KOTOR lore or book lore. And really, that should not matter to the average player, but if they are interested, there are, as you point out, many books to look over. (And I apologize, Larry, I know you are a SW canon-nut. )
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:03PM Irem said

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@Puremallace
It's Ponzi scheme, it's not remotely comparable, and the model has worked just fine for them with GW1. Calling it that implies that you think they've designed the game to fail while they abscond with mountains of cash, which would be a monumentally stupid business decision by any stretch of the imagination. Dissatisfied customers don't buy from the cash shop, and they don't advertise through word of mouth--in fact, they write bad reviews and warn people off paying the initial box price.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:19PM Ordegar said

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People say things like "how are you going to find the time to play both of them?", as if you have to dual-box both games or something.

I have been an mmo-hopper for years. I have lifetime subscriptions to LOTRO and STO and Guild Wars ;) . I also have accounts with EQ2, Champions Online, Forsaken World, Alliance of Valiant Arms, Vindictus, and Mytheon. I play all of them. I don't keep subscriptions to the paid sub games at the same time, though, so right now I'm playing Champions Online and when my sub for that expires this month I am switching to EQ2. When Sony implements their price drop for Staion Pass down to $19.99 a month to sub to all their mmos I will be adding other SOE games I own to the list (Vanguard, SWG, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and I may even try out DCUO).

So how can I possibly play all of those at the same time?? Well I don't. When I sit down to play, I peruse my choices and I pick one and I play it. I may play for a couple of hours then switch to another game, or play one game all day. I may play one game day after day for weeks, or change every day. Whatever strikes my fancy at the time is what I play. The beauty of this is I don't get bored with any of them, and when I jump back to a game there are often nice changes that have been made to it (such as when Vanguard got a huge bug-swat and the client reduced in size by a huge chunk).

Of course, I'm not a big end-game raider. That requires a longer-term commitment than I am generally willing to give to one game at one time.

I will be buying both Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, and yes I will play both. If I get to end-game in one of them and wish to get into raiding then I will put other games aside for a while and dedicate my time to that. Meanwhile, I feel no pressure to race up the levels in any game; my characters will still be there when I come back to them, and I'll get them leveled up eventually, or not. I enjoy the game in any case.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:54PM Space Cobra said

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@Ordegar

I am much the same way, but I do have too many games (and I try to have an outside life).

I can be more of a tourist/traveller in my games and like variety. There's only been one community I've been with for a long time (CoH) but even that, I can be secretive and I still am not in a guild (because people want your time and I might drop out for a month or more without much notice).

Still, I do hope to find some community. I do get involved. One community recently dissolved unfortunately because the site went down, but one just keeps plugging and playing games. :)
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:55PM chanimanga said

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@Ordegar
"So how can I possibly play all of those at the same time?? Well I don't. When I sit down to play, I peruse my choices and I pick one and I play it. I may play for a couple of hours then switch to another game, or play one game all day. I may play one game day after day for weeks, or change every day."

But this is the whole argument of the need to choose only one game due to time constraints... If you are like many of us.. with a 9 - 5 ( or more likely 8 - 6 ) day job, get back after the commute, grab something to eat, spend time with the kids then bath and bed them, you most likely won't sit down to play til 9pm then its 1 or 2 hours max before heading to bed to get up at 6 am the next day.
The MMO community is somewhat aged nowadays, and most of us don't have the luxury of playing days and days on one game.. a couple of hours at best for us poor wage slaves.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 3:15PM Space Cobra said

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@chanimanga

Just to state my case : There are games I finish, but there are MANY MORE I don't and probably will never finish. That's counting Consoles, other PC games, and MMOs. I believe many players don't really finish certain games, unless they have a limit or a budget so they spend more time on specfic games. But really, some of the astronomical sales must be from fans who may like variety, too (Call of Duty, Mass Effect, and a WoW expansion).

Mind you, I am also starting to focus in on some games. Curbing some altism and finishing some particular favorites. Of course, I am crazy and I am single (but I have a job, too). Really, I have seen people play/finish games with a time schedule and while I play more variety, their focus on spending maybe 1-3 hours a day, plus/minus particular days when they are out or the wife/kids are away at grandma's, one can make more progress than I can, even if I can afford to spend more hours gaming than you may be able to. It's just about focus.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 3:35PM SFGamer69 said

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@Ordegar

I have to wonder...are you joining guilds/groups or what have you, and spending time socializing? when i get into a game, i tend to get involved with the people i game with, up to and including endgame. I suppose if money is not a hindering factor, and you are not the social type, then hopping from game to game in the manor you mention would be quite easy and with little to no negative effect. I get the impression you play these games as many others do, a solo game a good majority of the time. And often times, that's pretty much what the leveling experience is for most...a solo adventure.

But for me, it's not conducive to building any in game connections, which become important later if joining in on endgame activities is something you wish to do. Again, the less time you play in any given game, the further behind you fall when you have reached the point of endgame being the only advancement left.
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Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:46PM Space Cobra said

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@Puremallace

You are still using "Ponzi scheme" wrong, but I get that you are trying to say it seems shady and not fully understand.

There are things you haven't thought about, it seems, like how NCSoft could use money from GW1, which, by your definition, should be losing money into developing GW2. And remember, they had a "flop" with Tabula Rasa and STILL have money.

SOE has it's fingers in f2p as well nowadays with some of its games. Trion is a new company, to early to tell if they will stay sub or bring out a new game that is f2p or whatever. Blizzard started out f2p with NO cash shop (Warcraft 1 & 2, Starcraft 1, Diablo 1 & 2) and they made enough money off off-the-shelf-box sales to run battle.net AND fund the development of WoW.

It may be hard to understand, but companies are making money with f2p and initial box sales with cash shops. You may dismiss Wizard101 or even PWE as a company, but they ain't staying in business due to "wishes and fairy dust". You may dismiss Turbine on LoTRO and DDO, but those games were on the verge of failing/closing when they went f2p and now, they are STILL around and making a profit for Turbine. Again, these games would be gone without any money. There isn't a rich underworld godfather pumping money in and hoping to somehow swindle people.

Posted: Jun 13th 2011 2:52PM Nireas said

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Between SWTOR and GW2 I would also prefer to play GW2 for one main reason. It's something different in MMO world.
As much as I would love to see a revolutionary Star Wars MMO, I'm afraid SWTOR wont be one. So far the game looks a generic MMO in a SW setting, with great cinematics, presentation etc.

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